Emerald Coast Yachts Sailing School & Charters




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Sailing School FAQs

Listed below are some questions that we often get from our prospective students. If your question is not answered below, please give us a call or send us an email!

Why do you limit your class size to two students?

To get the most experience possible and to have the most interaction with the instructor, we limit the class size to two.  We want every graduate of our school to be capable enough to handle any yacht they would like to charter --and this takes careful instruction and practice.  For each drill, one student performs the duties of skipper and the other performs the duties of crew, and then the students switch places --the instructor stands aside and gives coaching as necessary.  If there are more than two students, the others become spectators --and taking turns means each person gets much less practice, much less hands on experience that is needed to develop skills and confidence. 

We do offer custom classes, though, for groups or families that are planning to sail together and thus would like to learn together and develop each persons roles and responsibilities.  If you would like to have more than two in your class, please call to discuss your needs fully with one of our instructors.


Your classes seem to be at least a day longer than other schools.  Why is that?

We feel that it is important to become a skilled and confident sailor before taking out a bareboat charter --the more times you practice each drill, the more confident and natural you will become.  And the more times you do each drill, the more varied the circumstances will be (wind direction, environment, other yachters, etc.) helping you to make quick, but well educated decisions.  Limiting the class size to two and providing an extra day of class time allows us the opportunity to give our students the time they need to enjoy sailing and to gain confidence in their newly developed skills.


Are you more expensive than other sailing schools?

No, we are not. Our classes are live-aboard and and private -- only you and your friends or family will be aboard your vessel. Our school was designed to provide maximum private instruction at times and dates that are convenient to our students.  For example, most schools have four or more students to a class -- we limit our class size to two students.  Most schools typically teach a given class in one day less than we do. And most schools have announced schedules that you and your class partner or group must fit into--we allow you to register for your class to coincide with your scheduled vacation or to help you meet your personal goals (like, "I want to bareboat in the BVI this March...) We feel we offer better value than other schools.

When comparing our prices with those of other sailing schools, be sure and ask for their private lesson rates!


What type of boats do you use for your classes?

We like to teach the Basic Keelboat (ASA 101) class on a Hunter 280. We feel a smaller, lighter boat is better for learning sailing fundamentals. 

The Basic Coastal Cruising (ASA 103) class and Bareboat Charter Certification (ASA 104) class are usually taught on our Beneteau 331, Catalina 36 MKII, Beneteau 381, or Beneteau 393. When you book your class, be sure and indicate your preference and we will do our absolute best to accommodate you.

The Advanced Coastal Cruising (ASA 106) class is taught aboard either our Beneteau 331, Beneteau 381, or Beneteau 393 -- whichever the students prefer.


Do your classes include lodging?

Yes, all of our classes are live-aboard (with the exception of the 105 Coastal Navigation). In fact, once you are here you many not even need a car. Our marina is about 20 minutes from Pensacola Airport and we often pick up our students and charterers there. Our marina is conveniently situated on Pensacola Beach to allow for walking to many restaurants, the boardwalk, the beach, and bars. For students who do not have a vehicle and wish to do some provisioning, we provide transportation to grocery stores located across the bridge in Gulf Breeze. We recommend that students cook breakfast aboard their yacht.


What should we bring?

We provide all the linens, navigation equipment, books, tests, logbooks, and safety equipment you need for your class. You need to provide the things that will make you comfortable --food, clothing, toiletries, bathing suit, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. You also need to remember to bring ALL of your student materials with you--we ship them to you in advance of the class so that you may study them, but you will need to bring them with you to class.


Could you describe a typical day?

We begin our classes at 9am (we're on Central Time) and end around 4pm.  After the first day, these times may be adjusted by your instructor depending on how the class is progressing, how well each student is mastering the subject matter, student preference, or the weather.

We spend as much time on the water as possible.  Often we sail in the morning, return to the slip for lunch, and sail in the afternoon.


Will we have fun?

Absolutely!  What could be more fun than sailing?  It is important to understand, however, that there are a lot of practical requirements to be met and classroom materials to be learned.  Although these are not easy courses, we have built in enough time in each class that you get to enjoy your new skills.  We could teach and drill on small boats that can't really get anywhere, but what fun is that?  We teach on typical cruising charter yachts and actually sail to some of our favorite places to anchor or to view the surroundings during class.  Our students sail out to where dolphin sightings are well known, the views are breathtaking, and the peace of sailing is evident.  Why else would we do it and love it so?


Your Bareboat Certification class includes an overnight. Where will we go?

Our 104 students decide where they would like to go and plan the trip. Options incude secluded anchorages where we cook and eat on board, Pirates's Cove (a very colorful, one of a kind establishment which boasts Cheeseburgers in Paradise), Juana's Pagoda at Navarre Beach, Palafox Pier Marina in downtown Pensacola--there are many options, and you will select the destination, plan the trip, navigate and sail us there and back!


Do you have class schedules?

No, we schedule our classes as students request them. We will schedule a class to begin any day of the week, including weekends and holidays -- as long as we have a boat and instructor available.  Although most schools have announced schedules that you and your class partner or group must fit into, we allow you to register for your class to coincide with your scheduled vacation or to help you meet your personal goals (like, "I want to bareboat in the BVI by this March...)

For single class descriptions and pricing, click here.

For combined class descriptions and pricing, click here.



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